I’m no stranger to reinvention. Reinvention is the difference between a woman caving into nothingness and a woman soaring with all the power of the world under her wings. We are forced into reinvention, we go from a child to a woman, a woman to a mother, and a mother back to a woman, and so on. Those transitions are hard enough, but those are not what I’m talking about, it is the small reinventions that I speak of. The divorces, the relocations, rehab, our bodies, the proverbial punches that we roll with.
My first major reinvention was when I moved from my hometown to a suburb of Chicago. I was fresh out of a pretty gnarly divorce and I was exhausted from the fight of my twenties. I had been fighting the good fight, lost a child, had a few nasty relationships, worked too much, and wrapped myself in some pretty unhealthy relationships. I’ll say it, I was fucked up.
I don’t think we come out of the womb defined, we define ourselves, and sometimes we let ourselves be defined by what has happened to us. I was not in the driver’s seat of who I was. Frankly, I don’t believe we are trained to be in the driver’s seat of our lives, it is a right of passage that we often never take.
We can easily be the one that was never good enough for our parents, never pretty enough for our dads, never good enough for our moms, and we can get stuck in being the ugly duckling of our peers. We meet these poor women often, they are jealous and hateful to themselves and everyone else. They are never happy and they rarely spread joy. They compare themselves to everyone and never are enough. These are the exhausting women. I was once her.
It’s easy to get locked into a definition of ourselves that was never written by us.
When I moved away from my family into a little second-story apartment near downtown I had nothing. I had given all my money as a sweet deal for my ex to let me go. I was starting a new job, and a new life, I was scared to death. There is something about not having anything that makes us realize that we are powerful. For the first eight months I went to work and came home, I had very little contact with the outside world, I had absolutely zero to give.
Each night I would find myself back in the apartment wandering around aimlessly, looking out the windows into a new world, my world. I had no TV, hardly any books, and nothing to do. I started to write. I started to write MY STORY.
I started from scratch, how I came to be, what stood out to me in my life, my parents, and why I had been the way I was. This was like telling a story that I had never heard. It was riveting and while it was sometimes pretty fucking insane, I realized that not only was I a badass, I was worth so much more than I had ever seen before. It was the beginning of a time when I saw myself as someone that was worthy of a beautiful life.
It was a time for reviewing, reinvention, and redefinition. I was able to look back through the eyes of someone else and see myself through forgiving and loving eyes. I was able to see my parents and everyone who had given so much to me. I was able to forgive the ones that made mistakes with me, and I was able to forgive myself.
I remember crying and crying because I realized that I had been the key holder of the chains that bound me, I was my assailant, my abuser, my slow killer. I was the one that was making me miserable, the one that made all the wrong choices for myself, the one who didn’t love me. I was the one that hated everything about me, my worst enemy was me. As I wrote those words and my story I fell in love with myself, I fell in love with the heroine of my book.
Forgiveness is the foundation of reinvention.
After 8 months or so I ventured out. This is when I met women that will be my friends/ chosen family for life. I met people that were worthy of love, worthy of my time, and worthy of my friendship. They held themselves in a higher light and taught me that women wrap themselves around the people that they love. This is when the actual fun started for me. This is when I connected to the world for the first time, not as a victim, but as me, worthy and real.
Since then I would be redefined many times, but never since that time have I ever forgotten how painful it was to let it all go. There is a pain in blossoming, the women that live life are the ones that learn to love that pain. Lean into it with everything they have.
“Somewhere in rolling with the punches of life, I realized I kind of liked being choked”
I’m writing this today because I am in the middle of a reinvention, the bittersweet pain is no stranger to me, she has become one of my best friends. The Pain of Reinvention will pay off with a new woman, stronger and bigger in ways I can only imagine.
But, that is what we do, right ladies? We rise.
So this is for you, my strong women, the ones that lock arms with me, the ones that roll with the punches with me, the ones that never shy away from the pain of reinvention, and the ones that take no prisoners, especially themselves. Lets soar.